Nico Rosberg’s F1 career in video

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Nico Rosberg is in his fourth season with Williams
Nico Rosberg is in his fourth season with Williams

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer looks at the improving form of Williams star driver Nico Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg has had an interesting couple of weeks. Some have praised him as the real winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix (although he was also a beneficiary of Nelson Piquet Jnr’s crash).

He had also been linked to multiple teams for 2010. But how did he get here? Let’s find out as we take a look back at the career of Rosberg junior.

2005: He had already shown much promise very early in his career. Winning the Formula BMW title in 2002 set him up for a test with his dad Keke’s old team, Williams, who were running BMW engines at the time.

Rosberg later won the F3 Euroseries. His success in the lower formulae encouraged him to pursue racing professionally, turning down an offer from the Imperial College at London to study aerodynamics.

Along the way, he made a decision to switch from a Finnish racing license to a German one, probably to allow Nico to become a more marketable driver – as Germany is a key motor sport market.

He was one of the first drivers to try his hand out at GP2, the new F1 feeder series replacing Formula 3000. But he really had to tough it out in a championship showdown with Heikki Kovalainen. But thanks to winning both races at the final weekend in Bahrain, Rosberg clinched the inaugural GP2 crown in dominant fashion. Here are some of the highlights from that first season.

2006: Rosberg had quite a debut. A charging drive in Bahrain saw him pull off two overtakes at the end of the race, making mincemeat of both Red Bull cars. He also set fastest lap in the process.

But Rosberg (and Williams’) form faded as the season progressed – with Nico struggling to score many more points that season. Team mate Mark Webber hit him on lap 1 in Brazil, which pretty much summed up how bad their season had gone.

2007: Rosberg’s second season didn’t get off to the best of starts. The early part of the season was blighted by lack of pace and the occasional mechanical issue, like here in Malaysia. Fortunately, the car came good in the second half of the season, allowing Rosberg to begin consistently finishing in the points.

2008: Arguably, this was his breakout season. He started in brilliant fashion, finishing third in Australia mostly by staying consistent and trouble-free throughout the race. Here’s a video of his qualifying lap.

More qualifying glory for Rosberg, this time in Monaco, where he ended up second in Q2 just behind Felipe Massa. It was a brilliant lap for Nico, showing excellent car control. But in the race, that same quality let him down, as he lost control of the car and shunting badly at the entrance to Piscine.

I would say that Rosberg’s greatest performance to date was at Singapore. Not just saying this because it happened to be his best finish to date (second), because he had to work very hard to get it.

Ending up in the lead after the (now notorious) safety car period, he had to build up a big lead to negate the expected penalty for pitting while the pitlane was closed. His pace was stunning, going 1 to 1.5 seconds per lap faster than those behind him.

By the time he took his penalty, only Fernando Alonso (of those who had stopped) had managed to get ahead. This brilliant charge meant he was now second, and he even tried to challenge Alonso for the win.

2009: This race can probably sum up Rosberg’s season to date. The race started dry and Rosberg (starting fourth on the grid) had a mega start (the beginnings of which you’ll see in the first spectator video).

But when the race turned wet (as you’ll see in the second video), his strategy went to pieces, and he could finish no better than eighth, for which he only got half a point.

While Rosberg has been solid for much of the season, many feel that the car (and possibly its driver) hasn’t lived up to its full potential. The car has regularly been in the points, but they haven’t finished on the podium all season.

His is promising but uncertain. Rosberg is being linked to McLaren or Rubens Barrichello (thanks to Mercedes), but he could also end up forming an all-Nico team at Williams with Nico H???lkenberg.

Wherever he ends up, ‘Britney’ needs to get more pace and show he’s more than just a pretty face.

23 comments on “Nico Rosberg’s F1 career in video”

  1. I think he is a young driver to count on.
    If I was in Martin Withmarsh shoes I’d do anyhing to catch him.

  2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    24th September 2009, 10:08

    I don’t know why, but I really like Nico… Hope he stays at Williams and they give him a car to challenge for next years championship.

  3. I like Nico but I do think he has been very strong rather than stirling, can’t criticise him this season though he has been one of the stars.

  4. That said I do think he could beat Jenson at Brawn.

    1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      24th September 2009, 11:26

      dunno about that.

      1. I do. Completely agree with steph.

  5. Rosberg is being linked to […] Rubens Barrichello


    1. I like Jenson but I would hate to see Reubens loose his seat at Brawn. Jenson may have been the early star when Brawn had the real advantage but since the 8th race it is Ruebens who is leading the way now. I think Rossberg will end up at either Brawn or McLaren.

  6. Thanks for the posting.

    I think that Nico looks like Leonardo DiCaprio. Although he’s certainly a better driver than DiCaprio is an actor.

    It will be interesting to see where he end up next season.

  7. I’ve always liked Nico, I think because I’ve known from the start that he turned down a place at Imperial College to pursue his racing career – shows that he does have a good brain in his head.

    I’d love to see him teamed up with Button at BrawnGP as I think the pair would get on well and work together, plus from what I’ve read Nico likes a car to have similar handling characteristics to Jenson, which would surely make life easier for the engineers and mean that they would tailor the car more in one direction (rather than having to allow for 2 different driving styles)…

  8. I can’t seem to make up my mind about Nico. I think he is over hyped.

    I think he is yet to suffer from the post-honeymoon period which should start soon so that we can make an informed judgment about his driving.

    Same time last year, I thought Vettel was the next big thing. But this season has shown that he needs to work, this season has been Vettel’s post honeymoon period.

    We don’t know how Nico will stand that test.

    1. Don’t get what you mean, Sumedh. Rosberg now has over 60 (probably 70) under his belt, driving mediocre to decent-but-not-great cars. Doesn’t exactly sound like a driver’s dream, does it? So what do you mean by “post-honeymoon period”?

  9. I think Nico is a very good driver. He hasn´t had good luck untill now becase his cars haven´t been very fast. Brawn or McLaren can be an interesting way of checking his possibilities.

  10. I like Rosberg but I wouldn’t say he is in the top tier of current F1 drivers.

    I guess the fact he was offered a place to study Aerodynamics at Imperial College shows in that Williams give all their drivers an engineering exam before they drive for them and Rosberg got the highest score ever for a driver when he did it.

    I think his father has managed his career well so far by letting him develop at Williams who at the moment are only a midfield team rather let him go to McLaren when they wanted him to replace Alonso, but I think now could be the time for him to move.

    As a Williams fan I would like him to stay there and make an all-Nico team with Hulkenberg next season, but honestly I don’t really see Williams consistently challenging for wins anytime soon.

    If he goes to McLaren he will be up against Hamilton and although they will have equal status, I don’t think many will deny that McLaren is defiantly Hamilton’s team.

    If Mercedes do buy into Brawn and he has the opportunity to go there, then that could be his best bet, as although they probably won’t be as dominant next year they should still get some wins.

    1. He can always go back to the books once he retires from racing, and come back as a senior guy in any F1 team.

      “Britney” at the early part of the season was the guy to watch on Friday but his race pace is quite off, somehow his machinery doesn’t like the heavy fuel loads.

      If he gets into a McLaren, the battle of the pushy drivers’ Dads will be quite interesting to watch (Anthony Hamilton vs Keke Rosberg) :D

      1. Keke Rosberg doesn’t appear to have interfered at all in Nico’s career in F1, so ‘pushy’ doesn’t sound very accurate there.

        1. Yeah, Keke does seem to be more hands off than Lewis’ Dad or Nelson Piquet Sr, which is probably better for Nico…

  11. I can’t help thinking of Nico as being in the same category as Kubica, ie. a young driver who has been repeatedly touted as the ‘next big thing’ over the past couple of years but who would seem to have failed to deliver on his potential thus far. That said, he has certainly shown more ability than other sons of former F1 drivers currently gracing the sport.

    I don’t see him staying at Williams for 2010, which is a shame as I am a Williams fan! Sadly the team will probably remain uncompetitive next year (albeit with a Cosworth engine rather than a Toyota one), and will take in another rookie to partner Hulkenberg. Maybe Nico will end up at Brawn, then we’ll see if he can really cut it in F1.

    The German citizenship/licence issue has always intrigued me though, seeing as his father is Finnish. And Keith, I laughed at the ‘Britney’ nickname.

    1. You can thank Mark Webber for the “Britney” moniker, (apparently) he was one of the guys who came up with it when they were at Williams, and it stuck…

    2. Nico Rosberg has a German mother and dual citizenship, German and Finnish. His German is native, but by his own admission he speaks very little Finnish, but was ‘learning it’. (He speaks several other languages too!)

    3. His mother is German and he was born in Germany – it seems that was enough. truth be told, he should race under a monagese flag as he spent his entire life in Principality.

      I like him as he has a smart head on the shoulders and he has shown great focus in races. His weakest points are wet races, until Malaysian GP where he got half a point he never managed to score in wet races and he often struggled…

      He certainly has a bright future in F1 but it remains to be seen can he reach the level of WDC…

  12. He’s quick and agressive enough – Britney is a future WDC in my opinion.

    Liking the bbc clip at the end by the way :)

  13. i’m a mclaren fan and i’d much prefer raikkonen to rosberg alongside hamilton next season…

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